Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promised to release more illegal immigrants into the United States, saying the budget sequester has left her no choice.
Several hundred detainees have already released because of the sequester, she insisted. They were released on bail, or because their legal status had changed, she said.
“We’re going to continue to do that … for the foreseeable future,” Napolitano said at a March 4 breakfast meeting hosted by Politico. “We are going to manage our way through this by identifying the lowest risk detainees, and putting them into some kind of alternative to release.”
However, Napolitano’s statement clashed with a March 1 report by The Associated Press, which said that internal agency documents show that her managers had already released 2,000 detainees, and planned to release 3,000 more detainees.
Napolitano’s threat reflects the White House’s determination to ramp up public distress until the GOP agrees to another tax increase.
Napolitano’s threat to release more illegals was not criticized by Tom Ridge, a former secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, who was also interviewed at the Politico breakfast.
Instead, Ridge complained that the controversy over the illegals’ release threatened passage of the draft immigration rewrite.
Progress towards a legislative success “gets sidelined—well, did you release 2,000? Didn’t you release 2,000? What about this, what about that?” Ridge complained.